Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is the usage of computer software to simulate performance in order to aid in engineering analysis tasks.

CAE applications are employed in a wide range of engineering fields, such as stress and dynamics analysis on components and assemblies using finite element analysis (FEA), thermal and fluid analysis using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), kinematics and dynamic analysis of mechanisms (multibody dynamics), acoustics analysis using FEA or a boundary element method (BEM), mechanical event simulation (MES) etc.

A typical computer-aided engineering task comprises three phases:

  • Pre-processing, in which engineers model the geometry and the physical features of the design, as well as the environmental factors.
  • Analysis solver, in which the model is solved using mathematical formulations. This process is usually performed on supercomputers.
  • Post-processing, in which the results are presented using visualization tools.

CAE is used widely as it helps reducing product development cost and time, while improving product quality and durability. CAE is applied in many fields such as automotive, aviation, space, and shipbuilding industries.

CAE software is developed to analyze the robustness and performance of individual components and assemblies as a whole. It helps simulate, validate and optimize both products and manufacturing tools. CAE systems play an important role in industry, as they support engineers to
understand the performance implications of their designs and reach the optimal decision, while at the same time help reducing dramatically the cost and time associated with the product’s manufacture.